Ancestry’s Cyber Monday Sale

You can get an AncestryDNA test kit for just $69 through tomorrow night. This is normally $99 so it’s a great deal and as low as I’ve ever seen the kit’s sold for.


*Offer expires on Nov. 28 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Offer does not include shipping costs or applicable taxes.

CousinBait and DNA

CousinBait and DNA -


I figured that it’s about time I made a post to help bait some new cousins.

I originally tested with AncestryDNA.
username: julie52479

And I transferred my AncestryDNA data to both FamilyTreeDNA and Gedmatch.

FTDNA kit #: B29051
Gedmatch kit #: A384941

Here is a quick reference from my grandparents to my 2nd Great-Grandparents (surnames and places of birth).

CousinBait and DNA -

Just a quick note…

My 2nd great-grandmother who was born in London, her siblings were all born in Russia or Romania. Being in London when she was born seemed to just be some type of layover from one area to another. There is an entirely different set of Goodman’s from England, but from what I’ve found they were not of Jewish faith and my Goodman line was.

Think we could be cousins? Send me an email at jwaters[dot]ancestry[dot]search[at]gmail[dot]com or leave a comment.

AncestryDNA Updates Coming Soon!

If you have not heard, AncestryDNA is making some changes to the matches we see. This update is happening very soon. How soon we don’t know, just that it’s soon.

You can read more about what you should do to prepare over at this post over at

The short version is that some of your matches may disappear, but you should also be expected to gain new matches.

Free Records at Ancestry

Get your genealogy motors going… there are a bunch of record collections that are currently FREE on If you have not yet started working on Ancestry, you will need to sign up for an account before you can search the records. It is free to sign up, though if you wish to continue searching these collections (+ other collections, photos, and more later on) you will need to purchase a subscription).

Here’s a list of the collections available for free:
My Family Tree: Ancestry Free Access!

It’s really simple to find your ancestors too.
Just plug in a bit of information and there ya go!
My Family Tree: Ancestry Free Access!

Need help or have any questions? Leave a comment or send an email. I’m happy to help.

*Free access is open to U.S. residents only and ends 11:59pm ET on December 29th. to discontinue Family Tree Maker

Family Tree: to discontinue Family Tree Maker

So you may have heard that Ancestry is planning to discontinue their Family Tree Maker (FTM for short) program. They will stop selling it at the end of this year, but it will still be usable. However at the beginning of 2017 all of the features associated with FTM will stop working.

I understand Ancestry deciding to not provide future versions of the program or even updates of the current version, but to make it stop working entirely? That means they have to change code on to stop letting FTM work. They are making work for themselves to make something stop working. It just doesn’t make sense.

I’m not a huge user of FTM. Mostly because when I upgraded to FTM 2014 my tree did not properly set up and though the program says my tree is synced with the one online, it actually isn’t. Support members in the Ancestry forums could only recommend that I de-link the tree’s, download the Gedcom from Ancestry, then re-upload under a different name to the Ancestry website and link it to the FTM program. And yeah that would have worked, but my tree would be under a name I didn’t want, as well as none of the documentation, photo’s, etc coming with it and I didn’t/don’t have the money to get a year’s membership and redo everything. So I stuck with just working on my tree on Honestly I mostly worked on my tree there anyway and only used FTM when I needed to create files, like event lists, or to create family outlines, etc. If I need to do that now, I just re-upload the current Gedcom to FTM. After FTM is discontinued, I’ll have to find another program to do all that.

What’s your take on FTM being discontinued? Are you a current user? If so, what do you plan to do when it goes away in about a year? Let me know in the comments.

Free access for the 4th

Family Tree: Ancestry Free Access for the 4th of July

From today until Sunday, July 5th you can search birth, marriage and death records from the original 13 colonies.

Family Tree: Ancestry Free Access for the 4th of July

*Access to the records in the featured collections will be free until July 5, 2015 at 11:59pm EST.

Ancestry’s Top Global Collections of 2014

Between today and December 29th, is giving free access to select record collections.

You can search the records at

And this is a list of the records that currently have free access.

1911 Census of Canada
1911 England Census
1921 Census of Canada
1940 United States Federal Census
Australia Birth Index, 1788-1922
Australia Death Index, 1787-1985
Australia Marriage Index, 1788-1950
Australia, Electoral Rolls, 1903-1980
Canada Obituary Collection
Canada, British Army and Canadian Militia Muster Rolls and Pay Lists, 1795-1850
Canada, Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current
Canada, Nominal Rolls and Paylists for the Volunteer Militia, 1857-1922
Canada, Voters Lists, 1935-1980
England & Wales, BMD Birth Index, 1837-1915
England & Wales, BMD Death Index, 1837-1915
England & Wales, BMD Marriage Index, 1837-1915
Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934
Historical Newspapers, Birth, Marriage, & Death Announcements, 1851-2003
Ontario, Canada Births, 1869-1913
Ontario, Canada, Deaths, 1869-1938 and Deaths Overseas, 1939-1947
Ontario, Canada, Marriages, 1801-1928
Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967
Selected U.S. Naturalization Records – Original Documents, 1790-1974
U.S. and Canada, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s
U.S. Naturalization Record Indexes, 1791-1992 (Indexed in World Archives Project)
U.S. Naturalization Records Indexes, 1794-1995
U.S. School Yearbooks, 1880-2012
U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current
U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014
U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918
U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942
United States Obituary Collection
Web: Canada, GenWeb Cemetery Index
Web: Index
Web: Obituary Daily Times Index, 1995-Current

Transfer your raw DNA data

If you have tested your DNA with or with 23andme, but have not tested with FamilyTreeDNA (or transferred your raw data to their site), you can now transfer your raw data FOR FREE.

Please use this link to do so – as they only give you a certain number of matches for free and it costs $39 to unlock the rest of them. Or you can get 4 people to use your specific link to register and upload their data to unlock it for free. SO PLEASE HELP ME UNLOCK MY MATCHES.

Want to see if we match with the DNA sites I have my information on…

AncestryDNA – they don’t give out kit numbers, but my username is julie52479
Gedmatch – kit #A384941
FTDNA – kit #B29051

eta: As of April 14th I have unlocked all of my matches at FTDNA!

Finding Military Records

In honor of Veterans Day, Fold3 is offering free access to their World War II Collection until November 30th.

A few of the things you could find are

– Missing Air Crew Reports, WWII
– WWII US Air Force Photos
– WWII “Old Man’s Draft” Registration Cards
– WWII War Diaries

You need to sign up for the site, but do not need to be a paying member in order to search these records. They do offer a free 7 day trial, but I would recommend waiting until December to use it since you already get the WWII records free right now. No use using up your free trial on something already free.

Some other places to find military records are… – Historical Documents of Interest to Veterans – World War II Records – Researching Through Military Records

Using and I have found WWII Registration Cards for my great-grandfathers (Benjamin L Silverstein and Silas H Waters), 2 great-grand uncle’s (George E Waters and Morris Goodman), my great-grand aunt’s husband (Isaac Chomsky), my 2nd great-grandfather’s (Jay Maynard Cooper and Sam Goodman) and 1st cousin (Mayer Schlar). And though I have not found their registration cards, I know that both my grandfathers (Phillip S Silverstein and James H Waters) also served in WWII.

I’ve also found WWI Registration Cards for my great-grandfathers (Benjamin L Silverstein, Clarence T Simmons and Morris Forman), my great-grand uncle (George E Waters, Morris Goodman and Louis Schlar), my great-grand aunt’s husband (Isaac Chomsky), my 2nd great-grandfather’s (Jay Maynard Cooper), and 1st cousin’s (Mayer Schlar and William Schlar).

For those interested, I have these registration cards added to the Gallery.